Victoria


 

We counted our newborn's ten tiny fingers and toes. We looked into her bright, beautiful eyes and fell in love with our baby girl, Victoria. We spoke softly to her, not knowing our newborn could not — and might never — hear us speak her name.

It would be three days after Victoria was born that the in-hospital infant hearing screen would tell us something that we could not have prepared for – Victoria likely couldn’t hear.

Without knowing how this would impact our little daughter, I grieved for her unknown future and wondered how she would navigate her world.

But at KidsAbility we found...

Hope. An early assessment within days of leaving the hospital and a referral to an audiologist confirmed the diagnosis of profound hearing loss. We were devastated by the news, but now we understood the challenges Victoria had before her.

Optimism. A complete assessment of Victoria’s needs and full consideration given to our needs as a family meant we had a plan and a path to follow.

Confidence. A professional and supportive team meant we had found an extended family in those who cared as deeply for her as we did.

We learned Victoria was an ideal candidate for cochlear implants — a device surgically placed under the skin behind each ear that would give her access to the sound she truly needed. Unlike her tiny hearing aids, which only amplified sound, the implant would bypass the damaged parts of her ear and send electronic signals directly along the auditory nerve to her brain.

Now the real work could begin!

Victoria’s therapy team was there to help us navigate her journey and explore life with sound! She first learned to listen. And as she did, listening came naturally. Along with her older brothers, we helped with the words she was trying to say. She quickly understood. Her voice emerged. What began as unrecognizable sounds have, with time and practice, transformed into words strung together like: “Thank you, let’s go, ho ho ho and hug.”              

As you can imagine, speech therapy looks a little different for Victoria at the moment.

Like you, our family is feeling the effects of the pandemic with a growing toddler. Victoria’s in-person appointments have changed to virtual therapy visits. Heather, her Speech-Language Pathologist, must work differently to keep Victoria’s attention engaged with videos and computer games to grow her vocabulary. As parents, we must work differently to reduce the distractions at home. But we see deep value in KidsAbility as we all work together to set new goals and next steps.

Thank you for the extraordinary support you continue to provide to families like mine when we've needed KidsAbility the most.

Tania

Victoria's mom

p.s. With your support, it's possible a child like Victoria to receive the therapy they need to reach milestones and goal important to them. Your gift will help make a difference in the lives of children and youth to achieve great things at home, at school and in the community.